By Cabrone D. Brewer
The current atmosphere surrounding the area of central Pennsylvania known as Happy Valley is the antithesis of its namesake.
As members of the Penn State community continue to weather the fallout from the school’s handling of sex abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky and subsequent firing of legendary coach Joe Paterno after 46 seasons, the football team must now prepare to face No. 19 Nebraska on what will ultimately be remembered as the most somber Senior Day in PSU history.
Having recently passed former Grambling State coach Eddie Robinson for the all-time FBS lead in wins with his 409th victory over Illinois, Paterno will now be forced to watch the game from outside the confines of Beaver Stadium for the first time in a career that stretched over six decades.
Security measures have been enhanced in the borough of State College, as local police look to maintain order ahead of the riots experienced Wednesday night when news first broke that the Hall of Fame coach had been relieved of his duties at the university.
This horrific chain of events comes at a time when the Nittany Lions find themselves 8-1 and atop the Big Ten Leaders division in the race for a spot in the inaugural conference championship game Dec. 3 in Indianapolis.
Way out West, No. 6 Oregon and No. 3 Stanford meet in what c ould prove to be a heavy offensive explosion.
Both schools are ranked among the nation’s Top 10 in almost every major offensive category. Stanford currently ranks third in the nation in scoring — averaging 48 points per game compared to Oregon’s fifth place average of 46 points per contest. Oregon ranks seventh in total yards per game, but Stanford is right behind the Ducks in the eighth position.
And in the SEC, No. 14 Georgia has a chance to earn a spot in the SEC title game and represent the eastern division with a victory over No. 24 Auburn.
Check back Monday for an update of the latest developments at Penn State and a review of the weekend’s top match ups.
Paterno and Spanier Out at Penn State, Effective Immediately
Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky Arrested for Sex Crimes
College Football 2011: Worth the Hype